Scottish SPCA

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  • Sectors Charity / Non-Profit , Small Animal
  • Posted Jobs 0
  • Flexible work environment Yes
  • Support for global candidates/visas Potentially
  • Remote/work from home No
  • Benefits Yes
  • Company overview

    Organisational background

    As Scotland’s animal welfare charity, we’ve been on-hand to protect animals and prevent cruelty for 180 years. Over almost two centuries, we’ve grown to become a national charity that celebrates the strength of the human-animal bond and enriches the lives of animals and people.

    The Veterinary Department came into being around the turn of the millennium, supporting the Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centres by providing veterinary care to sick, injured, stray, abandoned, neglected and unwanted animals of all the species seen in mainstream small animal practice.

    We have three veterinary clinics based in the West of Scotland attached to our Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Centres where have a good array of surgical, diagnostic and medical facilities. Elsewhere around Scotland, we use the services of our Partner Veterinary Practices, including Equine (Aberdeen and Edinburgh).

    We are a completely separate charity from the RSPCA, which helps animals in England and Wales. Whilst separate, we work closely with them on many fronts alongside our partners in the other large animal welfare charities around the UK and we are a member of the Association of Dog & Cat Homes (ADCH).

      • Watch our Interview the Boss – Ian Futter from Scottish SPCA in Glasgow & VSGD’s Adrian Nelson-Pratt here!

      • Watch our Interview the Boss talking about the Head Nurse, Weekend Vet and Forensic Vet positions here!

      • Watch back our Interview the Boss, all about Part-time Maternity Veterinary cover and a Weekend Vet vacancy here!


    Organisation aims & mission

    • We champion animal welfare and encourage respect and kindness for animals across all our communities
    • We educate people of all ages about the welfare of animals in our mission to eradicate animal cruelty and create a better future for all of us
    • We promote the importance of the human/animal bond, and the myriad medical, social and psychological advantages gained from animal companionship
    • We bring those who abuse animals to justice
    • We care for, rescue, rehabilitate, release and rehome
    • We are Scotland’s animal champions
    • Investigating abuse across Scotland, we’re proud to be at the forefront of preventing cruelty to animals. As the only animal charity in the UK recognised as a reporting agency to the Crown Office, our inspectors enforce the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

  • Company values
    • Professional
      We pride ourselves in the manner in which we engage with our team, our partners and the people of Scotland. In difficult situations, we are always firm but fair. We are a Reporting Agency to the Crown Office, meaning we are involved in prosecuting animal cruelty and neglect cases.
    • Collaborative
      Whether it’s our colleagues or partners we embrace the benefits of teamwork. We work with owners to help them improve the care they give their animals. We join forces regularly with other charities and we foster good relationships within the Veterinary profession wherever possible.
    • Adaptable
      The work we do is dynamic and ever-changing. We need to be flexible and, at times, quick-thinking to find solutions. We don’t always have the right answers to begin with but we use all the resources we have to try to do the right thing.
    • Compassionate
      We care deeply about animals welfare and all the animals we serve. We firmly believe people should be supported in looking after their animals and provide the service with compassion and care on a daily basis. We care for a myriad of sick and injured animals each year including wildlife, pets, livestock and horses. We know that the human-animal bond is vital in maintaining good mental health at many levels in society, from young children and families all the way up to the elderly and infirm.
    • Committed… rescuing and caring for animals in need, supporting people in animal welfare matters and bringing those guilty of animals cruelty to justice. We are committed to making a difference and effecting real change for animal welfare. We are always looking for new opportunities to make a difference where our resources allow.
    • Expert
      We apply our knowledge and expertise in every aspect of our work. We strive to share our innovation and expertise and improve animal welfare across all parts of Scotland and throughout the world. We have a very active education department and impact in schools, colleges, vet schools and the workplace.

  • What makes your organization a great place to work?

    The Scottish SPCA as a whole employs somewhere between 300 and 350 people in various roles, some of which are seasonal, based on demand (the Inspectorate Department is busiest in the Spring answering wildlife calls for example). But despite this, and despite the wide geographical spread of our work across the whole of Scotland – including the Islands – there is a family feel about being part of the organisation. We have an intranet through which people share what’s going on in their areas and a range of committees for all members of staff to get involved in that make a difference in how we operate.

    The Veterinary Department is comparatively small, with 21 members of staff operating over four sites (including the wildlife centre). We have regular team meetings and “Lunch & Learns” and stay in touch through our Facebook Workplace chatbox. We like to think that we all get a say in the decisions that are made.

    We naturally have to make decisions on a daily basis that impact hugely on the animals in our care. Whilst with us we are responsible for ensuring their health and welfare and the aim in the majority of cases is to get them fit and well and ready for a new home or to be released back into the wild. This is the most rewarding aspect of the job and the lack of owners involved sets us apart. These are not always easy decisions but we partner together in taking responsibility for them. Not every animal can be saved but we always consider the quality of life of the animal both now and in the future. When an animal does require PTS it is always very sad but we can always be satisfied that we’ve made the right decision for them.

    We cover a diverse range of species, even if it’s mainly dogs and cats that take up much of our time. We annually rehome about 3,000 dogs and cats, myriad small furries and exotics and rescue 10,000 wild animals per year.

    We have x-ray, ultrasound, in-house lab facilities etc. and we do lots of dentals, lump removals, enucleations, amputations (they are often beyond surgery!) and neutering (including rabbits and now ferrets).

    What tends to make people stay is the good work/life balance. We work during normal office hours, and while there is a vet on-call this is only for animals already in our care in the three centres from which we operate, so being called out is very rare. Weekends are minimal but are counted as normal working days so staff get rest days during the week.

    We have a good relationship with Glasgow Vet School (just down the road) and in normal times their final year surgical rotation includes doing some neutering in our Glasgow clinic – often providing a reduced cost neutering service to members of the public.

    We like to think we are a really friendly team and not having to ask clients for money is a real bonus.

    The department is based in the Glasgow area with all the opportunities that brings to explore a great city and a wonderful natural environment: Ben Lomond is only an hour’s drive away from our Glasgow centre.

  • Describe an ideal employee at your organization

    Ideally, a vet working with us needs to be surgically competent and willing to attempt new things.

    They need to be able to make pragmatic decisions based on the welfare of animals using their clinical skills and knowledge. Whilst we can do all the usual tests, we only do them if the result would make a significant difference to the treatment of the animal and make rehoming a realistic possibility – this takes some time to get used to. It really takes about three years to create a competent shelter vet.

    Whilst attention to detail is really important, it is also vital that you can make decisions quickly and know when to ask for help.

    You also need to be able to foster good relationships with non-veterinary staff and be able to explain decisions clearly and sensitively to those with limited veterinary knowledge who are caring for animals every day. The emotions can run high with regard to some animals so it is important to have tools that provide you with the resilience to move on to the next patient. You can never care too much but that must not get in the way of making sound pragmatic decisions that don’t compromise an animal’s welfare.

    “Don’t let animals suffer” 60 second ad

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